Friday, September 11, 2009

How to Market Your Art Using a Blog

I wrote this article on blogging yesterday for a friend who asked for some tips, so i thought i'd post it here. i know alot of my readers are painters who are holding down other jobs but aspiring to "take it to the next level" so here's something that i hope will help you!

If youre selling all the art you want, this article is not for you. It contains information youre already doing everyday and everywhere. No need to read any further.

But if you'd like to sell more art and keep more of the profit read on.

Three words- Start a Blog!

When i first heard of blogging years ago, i wondered how it could sell art. In my search i found a guy who had started a blog and was selling a painting a day. His name was Duane Keiser. So i read up on what he was doing, and found others were doing well selling online, too. So i started a blog, and found it very easy to do.

Here are the steps and a few tips to start a blog and get traffic to it.

Go to my blog at and click the "create a blog" button on the top of the page.
Follow the self explanatory directions and make your first "post". A post is nothing but an entry where you can have just words, or words and photos. You can publish the post with a click and your post is on the worldwide web.

Now what?

You want traffic to come to your blog so you can sell your art, of course! It doesnt do any good if your brother and aunt are the only ones looking at what you've got for sale so here are some tips to get traffic.

I went from 10 people per month to getting over 2800 per month, in a few years of posting everyday. And thats considered a small amount of "views" considering the biggies in the online art biz probably get 10 to 20 times that! But i do know that i sell tons more stuff online with 2800 views than i did when i had 10.

Here are some tips to up your traffic-

When you write your post be sure to make sure the writing is interesting to your core readers. The writing adds interest and ties your reader to you. Make it as interesting as possible with stories that will have them coming back day after day. Imagine reading a magazine that has the same thing in it day in, and day out. You'd quit buying it wouldnt you? For example you're out there painting and your umbrella fell in the water etc. people like to hear about the painting experience and will come back again and again to hear about it.

Mention other bloggers who have high traffic on your blog. That way when someone Googles their name, your blog will pop up on the screen.

Mention famous artists on your blog. Same thing.

Identify your core group(s) of readers and write to them. its ok to have multiple core groups. Examples could be: workshop students, collectors, people who are interested in art, gallery owners etc. One day you do a post for one group, and the next, another.

Get people who already have lots of traffic on their blog to put you on their sidebar so you can get plenty of hits from their hard work.

Write or show something interesting and send it to someone who has lots of blog traffic. Chances are they will include it in their blog post that day and have a link to your blog. That means everybody who goes to their blog will probably be curious enough to follow the link to yours, thereby upping your traffic.

Comment on as many other bloggers posts as you can. When people see a new name on their fave bloggers blog, they'll usually click and go to yours.

Write articles and send them to other bloggers and offer to let them use it. Of course have your blog address in the article so others will go check it out.

Have the blog address on your business cards and in all your advertising.

Everywhere you go leave these cards around.

Do free giveaways on your blog. People love free paintings and will keep coming back to see whether they won or when the next one is.

Join an online gallery like (and many others). These online sites get tens of thousands of hits a day and this will add to your traffic exponentially. Not only will you snag them once, but if they like your blog, they'll email all their friends about the great blog they found. This will happen day in and day out.

The most important thing though is to post regularly. If you dont, or if its boring, you'll not only not pick up new traffic, you'll lose what you do have. The more you post the higher up on the page you'll be when people Google your name or any words or names that were in your posts. This is huge. Say i write about something and mention the name Monet. If i post enough when someone googles Monet, your post will pop up on the Google page. So you can see that its beneficial to be a name dropper!

So get that blog started and start selling your art online.

(Mike Rooney's blog address is: Feel free to use this article for any purpose, as long as this address is included)


Roxanne Steed said...

Amen Mike - you are right on here! It has made all the difference in my art life. I meet up with "serious" artists who wonder how on earth I sell on my own? You've got it here in a nutshell! I also send out a daily "Cheer Factor" newsletter to every collector, relative, friend, etc (and ask them to pass it forward to others too!)- with a quote, a painting, perhaps a photo, not too long, but interesting. My friends that live far away can keep up with what's going on in my life, my collectors see the latest work fresh off the easel, etc. But-it-now buttons connected to paypal are WONDERFUL, too! We as artists are SO LUCKY to be living in this time & have access to this!
Loved your recent works on Cape Cod- can't wait to see more from the Outer Banks, too (and hope to get down there myself this fall!). Cheers! Roxanne

Rick Nilson said...

I mentioned you today in my blog. Name dropper! Good advice, I took it.

Julie said...

Hello Mike, Thank you SO MUCH for the marketing info. Please continue to post helpful marketing tips. Such as: best way to ship; what size paintings sell best; sell framed or unframed; and whatever else you can think of. Really appreciate your help. I've never sold my paintings - it's time to get started! Many thanks.. Julie Reagan, Lafayette LA

mike rooney studios said...

Roxanne- good idea about the little blurb you send out daily. another way to "soft sell" sandwiched in something the reader can and wants to use

rick- youre on it, man!

julie- thanks! i'll post regular how-to market articles as time allows. keep an eye out on my blog!

Nancy Hughes Miller said...

I'm going to start my blog today and look forward to taking Mike Rooney's workshop at Art of Carolinas in November. I've had some recent luck on
here are some of my links:

mike rooney studios said...

nancy- look forward to painting with you in november at Art of the Carolina's
which workshop(s) did you sign up for?
BTW-love your paintings

Unknown said...

Hi Mike, have just read your blog on marketing. You are the master of this, for sure. An absolute delight to see how your enthusiasm and perseverance is "paying" off. Great advice. I have started my motor, in park am accelerating and now getting ready to put it in forward.
From comments can tell your words are speaking to many.
Love your Cape Cod works. Can see the CC School influence in more recent pieces.

anne h ward said...

Mike, the previous blog is mine. Someone else had signed in on my page and didn't know it til saw comment.